Sounds like … a WOW-styled compilation of pop and folk styled independent artists reminiscent of Indigo Girls, Dave Barnes, Jars of Clay, Jonatha Brooke, Keane, Rich Mullins and more.

At a glance … though there are certainly some good picks represented here, diversity is seriously lacking in a collection that's billed as the "Top 20" in the Indie scene.

For the past couple of years, I've been reviewing Indie projects for this fine publication, and I'll be the first to admit that it's not always easy to find quality artists to highlight every couple weeks. It's certainly not for a lack of projects to consider, that's for sure. But thanks to the quality of home recording technology available these days, finding the diamonds in the rough isn't as difficult as it used to be—it's now a matter of discerning the finest diamonds.

Which is why I was surprised by the lack of musical diversity on Top 20 Indie 08, a new WOW-styled collection of independent artists. Selected from Indieheaven.com's pool of artists by a panel of music industry experts from Indelible Creative Group and Indieheaven insiders, the majority of the artists featured fall squarely into predictable folk-pop territory.

There's nothing wrong with that particular genre, of course—it's one of my personal favorites, it's generally smarter than most Christian music, and as far as independent music goes, it's one of safest bets since it's so quick and cheap to record. That said, there are a slew of quality rock, pop, and urban gospel acts worth considering from the indie scene, and this particular Top 20 "list" doesn't touch on them.

Parsing semantics, perhaps, but if you're going to declare your project the Top 20 independent artists of 2008, there ...

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